Current Affairs

Why is there no transgender emoji?

Josh Jackman July 17, 2017
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Transgender getty

Top psychologists say the long-awaited change will help remove the stigma that trans people are faced with (Getty)

We have a rainbow flag emoji.

We have emojis of same-sex couples holding hands, kissing and smiling with their children.

So why not a transgender flag emoji?

This was the question posed today, on World Emoji Day, by Mermaids, a charity which provides support for gender diverse and transgender children.

And hey, what if you’re bisexual? Or asexual, pansexual or genderfluid?

Don’t these people deserve their own emojis as well?

Their flags exist, so it’s not like the Unicode Consortium – who create emojis – would need to put much effort into emojifying them.

There are enough straight emojis to fill a tweet by themselves, not to mention the bizarre number of items and symbols that have a prominent place in your collection.

Currently included in your phone’s assortment of emojis are multiple calendars, keys, CDs (you know, those cool, young, hip things) and whatever this is: .

If “diamond with a dot inside it” gets its own emoji, communities who lack representation in popular culture absolutely should too.

It is possible to send the transgender flag as an emoji if you download a special app – such as the #BeStrong app developed by activist Monica Lewinsky – but not otherwise.

Facebook unveiled a rainbow flag reaction emoji in honour of Pride Month, and then brought it back for countries when they were celebrating their local Pride parade.

But the process for getting the Unicode Consortium – which is in charge of making industry-standard emojis – to release new creations is more arduous.

transgender flag getty

Getting a rainbow flag emoji took years and incessant campaigning from LGBT activists on the subject.

It also took until 2015 for emoji featuring same-sex couples and families with same-sex parents to become standard.

And as ever, transgender, bisexual, asexual, pansexual and genderfluid people have even less of a say as individual sub-categories of the LGBT rainbow.

The good news is that the transgender flag will be considered for submission by the consortium in 2018. Until then, all we can do is make our voices heard.

More: Android, Apple, apps, asexual, bisexual, emoji, Facebook, flags, gender, gender fluid, pride flag, rainbow flag, tech, Trans, Transgender

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